Simon Miller

Most recent blogs by Simon Miller

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Clients Management User Experience

TLDR; or, The Importance of Documentation

Nobody can be expected to recall the events that occurred in a meeting six months prior to release of a project. We document so that everybody understands the scope of work in such sufficient detail as to produce outstanding work.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Tips & Tricks MVC

Enabling session state in Web API

Some of you may look at this blog title and say “but you shouldn’t ever do that. Restful APIs are stateless, duh”. This is correct.. but let's break that rule.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development

Upgrading Umbraco 4.x to 7.x

I have been working on an exciting project that had to get past a rather daunting hurdle before it could start properly – we needed to upgrade the Umbraco database multiple versions whilst retaining all user content.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Search Umbraco

Searching PDFs with Umbraco

My current website has a simple requirement: combine regular page search results with PDF file results. Simple, right?

Simon Miller Team : Web Development

Integration testing in .NET

In the cowboy days of web development, writing code tests was the exception and not the rule.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development jQuery MVC

Sorting with Nestable and Bootstrap MVC

We’ve all had to write a drag-and-drop sorting module in the past, but this combination of jQuery plugin, Bootstrap MVC theme and .NET makes short work of it.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development MVC

A super-duper RadioButtonList helper

MVC comes with plenty of helpers, but often I need them to do more.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development MVC

Parsing Australian format DateTimes in MVC model binding

I don't know why, but .NET defaults to US format dates for everything.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Tips & Tricks Umbraco

Adding enhanced styling to the Umbraco TinyMCE editor

The humble WYSIWYG is an end user’s main interface to editing content on their website. As websites get more complicated, design gets more complicated, and in turn the slice gets more complicated, the WYSIWYG needs to provide more options for styling content.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Design Web Development Umbraco

A simple split-text custom Umbraco datatype

Designers, eh? They just love making little flourishes on websites.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Technology

5 early Internet things you won’t believe are still a… thing

For those of us who have lived (and worked) through the early days of the World Wide Web, we will have some fond – and not so fond – memories about early websites and early applications.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Tips & Tricks

Mandrill, .NET and Handlebars

I was recently tasked with researching how to use the Mandrill API for sending transactional emails.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Search Google User Experience

Google: Going Beyond the Result

As the trend for mobile usage continues to eclipse desktop, and the purpose of search itself is tailored to why you would be searching on a mobile in the first place.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : User Experience Rants

Why won't you let me watch it?

Australia has for the longest time been behind the times in how we make film and television entertainment available to watch.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development

April Fools!

So it’s that time of year again. That time when the Internet as a whole pranks each other with fake products and non-existent technologies, all in the name of hilarity.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Facebook User Experience

Facebook Groups Buy and Sell

Facebook have noticed this rise in buy/sell/trade groups and have rolled out a new feature to accommodate – the Sell Something tab.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Search User Experience

I can’t find anything on this website

I needed to buy flowers. I'm a guy. I don’t know what a bouquet or arrangement is. Just sell me some flowers.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Technology Web Development

Internet Explorer: Project Spartan

Spartan’s new rendering engine is designed to work with the way the web is written today.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

Salted Password Hashing

Back in the cowboy days of web development, password security wasn't well considered. Thankfully things have changed for the better.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Programming User Testing

The Importance of Code Reviews

It’s been said that peer code reviews are the single biggest thing you can do to improve your code. But how do you do it?

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development e-commerce Tips & Tricks User Experience MVC

Where should you store your cart?

When building an e-commerce site, the question of cart persistence will usually rear its head.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Web Strategy User Testing User Experience Content

A website is a lot like a hamburger

A website has many layers, all important to the overall experience. The difference between an average website and a great website can be compared to the quality of a hamburger.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development SEO Google

Adding rich snippets to your site for better SEO

There once was a time that SEO simply meant having decent meta keywords on your site. Times have well and truly moved on.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Google Tips & Tricks Performance

Optimising your .NET site for Google PageSpeed Insights

Following these suggestions took my site’s PageSpeed ranking from an average 65 up to an excellent 89.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Tips & Tricks

Two handy tricks in KnockoutJS

KnockoutJS is a powerful MVVM pattern. Here are two helpful tricks I picked up.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Tips & Tricks MVC

User IP address checking and Akami masking

I was recently faced with a task that required a website to validate a user IP for the purpose of opening up an extra section of the site if it fell within a certain range.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development

Happy Birthday Kathleen aka the Why Producers Are Awesome Blog

It’s Wiliamite Producer extraordinaire Kathleen Shrimpton’s 25th birthday today!

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web 2.0 jQuery User Experience

AJAX and providing the illusion of efficiency

When you use AJAX on your website, be sure to give your users a visual cue that something happened when they pressed that button.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development

Websites from the 1990s that still exist

It’s unbelievable what sites from nearly 20 years ago are still around today.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : User Experience

Meaningful Form Validation

Website forms are the gateway to the rich content you are making available, so make them a pleasurable experience.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Tips & Tricks

Export Excel Spreadsheet data to XML

It turns out that Excel has XML export and data mapping built in and is very easy to use.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Search Umbraco MVC

Searching a decoupled Umbraco site

What is the best way to perform a content search on a decoupled Umbraco without the support of Umbraco Examine?

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Performance Featured

Disaster Recovery and Redundancy for Websites

How important is DR for you? The answer to this question should be simple: paramount.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Programming Search Usability

Don’t forget about the small things

Once the dust has settled on your website build, tired eyes may overlook the simpler things.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Management

Agile Project Management in practice

What does agile look like in practice?

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development News

Can we still trust the padlock?

The hot topic in IT news this week is the discovery of the so-called “Heartbleed” bug in the open source implementation of SSL, OpenSSL.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development MVC

Stake Your Claim

Claims is a new addition to .NET 4.5's identity provider that allows you to store pieces of extra information about a user for easy access.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development MVC

OMG it’s OWIN

I’ve delved head first into the new world of Visual Studio 2013, .NET 4.5, EF6 and MVC5... OMG I’m loving it.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Umbraco

Unique value validation in Umbraco back office

It seemed like a simple proposition – add a unique constraint to a single property in an Umbraco doctype.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development

Add some Christmas Cheer to your Website

Christmas is but days away. Have you spruced up your website for the pending festivities?

Simon Miller Team : Web Development

Inspect Element: It may save your life someday

When Firebug was introduced to the Firefox browser as a plugin, the art of debugging websites changed forever

Simon Miller Team : Web Development

Don’t be afraid to write your own JavaScript

With the advent of jQuery many web developers have become so reliant on other people’s code that they try a plugin first before attempting to write something themselves.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development

This blog cost five dollars aka The Load Impact Blog

Talking of the day that stops the nation, let's talk about load testing to prevent your website from stopping the nation.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development

Five Essential Umbraco Plugins

There are a few essential plugins if you're using the Umbraco Content Management System.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Featured

Six years as a Wiliam developer

Six years is a long time to work for one company. 15 years is a long time to be in the same line of work. Here is what I have learnt.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

A new website is like a new baby

Babies and web development aren't that different... it would seem. Or at least to a new father.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

Are we over-relying on images?

With larger desktop screens and the push for more tablet usage, websites in general are appearing to be more and more image heavy.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

PARTY LIKE IT’S 1992

And just how did the Wiliam website look 13 years ago?

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

Cross browser testing gets easier: BrowserStack

The best part? By creating a tunnel to your machine (all done through the interface), you can test your local websites.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Online Trends

Dipping my toes into Responsive Design

From looking at the already created CSS and JavaScript from a project I am now co-developing I have learned the basic techniques for creating a responsive template for tablet and mobile devices – and it really isn’t that hard.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

UMBRACO 6 AND THE SERVICECONTEXT

One of the highlights for me with Umbraco 6 was the new feature of being able to access the Umbraco datastore from an external application that didn’t have direct access to an Umbraco Context.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

Is Firefox Still Relevant?

What I found interesting was that Mozilla was still developing.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Mobile Web

Tips for easier mobile browser development

Whilst you can create entirely separate websites for this purpose, in most cases there is simply no real need.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

Final to-do list for when you launch a new website

Here is a handy list of some of the things all developers should be aware of before handing over the keys to the client

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

Australia Post API

It now appears that Australia Post offers a free REST API, and have done so for at least a year.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Umbraco

Umbraco reserved properties and their usage

When you create a property with one of these keywords it has a special action associated with it.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Technology

Keep It Simple, Stupid

Swipe, whiz, fade, slide and pop. There are some cool technologies available to web developers these days, though they need understanding and justification… not simply inclusion because they could be cool.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Sydney Web Design

Is it really like Office Space?

When I tell new friends that I am a developer, and explain to them what that entails, I very quickly feel like Peter Gibbons from the movie Office Space.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Umbraco

Umbraco: Great for your content

The Wiliam development platform of choice for a content heavy site is definitely Umbraco.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

The Power of MVC Compels You!

Recently I've been delving into the wonderful world of MVC. MVC for the uninitiated stands for Model –View-Controller and is a modern design pattern in software design.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

MVC and its tight integration with JQuery

Microsoft MVC 3 has some really cool features.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

Your API is bad and you should feel bad

A few months ago, TechCrunch reported on a survey undertaken with 100 developers. The topic of the survey was which external APIs were the most difficult to integrate into their projects. The winning by clear majority was Facebook. We’ve all worked with their API before and it can be a real headache. Specifically mentioned by the developers surveyed were the API’s never ending changes and poor documentation.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development e-commerce

Ecommerce and simple wins for increasing customer confidence

I’ve built dozens of commerce-enabled websites since the early days of the Internet, and in that time I have learned a few things that, in my opinion and experience, provide for a better ecommerce website that gives your customer greater confidence in your service offering – and customer confidence is the main loyalty you need to gain.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

MailChimp and Mail Groups

Long gone are the days where a developer would need to send bulk emails from his own website. Not only was this time consuming for the developer but it was fraught with possible points of failure – sending too many emails from the one address to the one host is an easy way to get your entire domain put on a spam blacklist.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Technology Web Development Programming

Google CSE and Structured Data

Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) is a fantastic technology that enables any website, for the low price of $100 annually, to use the power of Google search technologies within your own website seamlessly.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

Better formatting in Visual Studio 2010

By default Visual Studio’s formatting of code is not as elegant as it could be. I like to be pedantic about the layout of my code as it makes it more readable for me and other developers who have to work on the same projects that I do.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

Creating Better Forms; an article for developers

Creating a form on a website is not a difficult thing to do with modern frameworks. Ensuring that the form is designed and functions correctly under all circumstances however is not..

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

Tips for working with Google Earth

As part of an exciting upcoming project here at Wiliam, we have been tasked to include Google Earth integration...

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Technology News

Rapid fire Wednesday (Weekly roundup)

A look at what is happening in the tech world over the past week. Nintendo suing people, online music sales increasing and Facebook revamping their image...again!

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development

When to call your web developer

A customer has just called you to inform you that your website is down. Before you panic and call your developer which may incur needless support fees, find out from your customer what they mean by ‘website is down'.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Technology

Government recommends: Dump Internet Explorer!

Web developers and the more technical-minded of the Internet populace have long ago realised that Internet Explorer is not a good browser.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Common Sense

They Giveth and they Taketh Away

The Government will introduce legislative amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act to require all ISPs to block RC-rated material hosted on overseas servers

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Design Online Trends

Your website is bad and you should feel bad

There are countless millions of websites on the Internet and most of them are varying degrees of bad. Many are not so bad. A few are really quite something special.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Business Management

Website Deployment Checklist

So, you have approved your specification and design concepts. The development is progressing well and is nearing completion. After giving your final feedback, at some point soon, your site will need to ‘go live’ onto the Internet for all to see.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Design Web Development Business Online Trends iphone Mobile Web

iPhone Pages - Make Your Mobile Website

So you have engaged your web development company to design and build you your new corporate identity but have you considered how your site will look and function on a mobile device such as the iPhone, Android or a BlackBerry?

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development CSS Website Accessibility

Accessibility From A Developers Point Of View - Part 1

Accessibility from a developers point of view part 1 - some elements that make up a triple A website

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development SEO Investment

Pay Once For It Now Or Pay Twice For It Later?

When considering the goals for the website you are engaging your web development company to build for you, one of the considerations, perhaps one of the biggest, is price.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Technology

When Should You Give Up On Old Technology

How many of you still use Internet Explorer 6 as your default browser? You may simply refer to it as “The Internet” and double-click the blue ‘e’ icon on your desktop. Or perhaps it is a “custom” build in your office with your company logo on it and your intranet as your home page.

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Design Web Development

Why developers and caffeine are a perfect combination

Caffeine is the most important thing to a developer. The spec can be a little unclear and the time constraints too tight. Their workstation can crash three times a day and not be able to open more than Notepad and Paint at the same time (the purest tools of a developer); but you can’t mess around with a developers desire – nay, requirement – for caffeine.


Connect with us

We deliver our promise to clients through 2 focuses:

Online Success and Project Success. Over 15 years, we have delivered hundreds of substantial and complex projects on time, on budget and to the highest of standards.


Sydney +61 (02) 9978 8888

194 Miller Street, North Sydney, NSW Australia 2060